Produced for Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights Series. Published February 8, 2014.
Geologists estimate that the Arctic holds more than 20 percent of the planet's oil and gas resources. But even with climate change melting its sea ice, the Arctic ocean remains a pretty inhospitable place for the oil industry. Royal Dutch Shell's recent decision to cancel drilling plans for 2014 is just the latest in a long line of setbacks, underscoring the reality that easy oil is a thing of the past.